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Lionel Messi Told Barcelona His Ideal Ronald Koeman Replacement Before Leaving Club

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Lionel Messi Told Barcelona His Ideal Ronald Koeman Replacement Before Leaving Club

Lionel Messi wants to see one of his former teammates take charge of Barcelona as the Catalan club begin their search for a new manager.

It was confirmed on Wednesday night that Ronald Koeman had been sacked by Barca after his side suffered a disastrous 1-0 defeat against Rayo Vallecano at the Estadio de Vallecas.

A goal from former Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao, who has scored in four consecutive games against the Spanish side, sealed a shock win for Los Franjirrojos.

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After a below-par start to the season, which included just four wins in their opening 10 La Liga games, Barcelona decided it was time to relieve Koeman of his duties.

A statement read: "FC Barcelona has relieved Ronald Koeman of his duties as first-team coach. The president of the club, Joan Laporta, informed him of the decision after the defeat against Rayo Vallecano.

"Ronald Koeman will say goodbye to the squad on Thursday at the Ciutat Esportiva. FC Barcelona wishes to thank him for his service to the Club and wishes him all the best in his professional career."

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Club president Laporta and those behind the scenes are now looking for a suitable replacement and, according to Spanish publication Cadena Cope, they are intent on appointing Xavi as manager.

In fact, Xavi, who is currently in charge of Qatar club Al Sadd, is already believed to be in negotiations with his former club.

Somebody who is also keen on seeing Xavi at the helm is Lionel Messi, a player who spent many trophy-laden years playing alongside him at the Camp Nou.

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The report adds that before he left to join Paris Saint-Germain in August, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner wanted his former teammate to replace Koeman.

The 41-year-old expressed his interest in the role last week in an interview with 20 Minutos.

"My ideal is to coach Barca, that is my goal and my dream and I have never hidden it," he said.

"I don't know if it will happen or not, whether they even need me or not, but for the moment I'm also happy at Al Sadd and very proud of being here.

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"If any offer comes, it will be evaluated and then we will try to decide, but for the time being I'm very happy here."

Thoughts on Xavi potentially taking the job at Barcelona?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Xavi, Barcelona, Lionel Messi, Ronald Koeman, La Liga

Jack Kenmare
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